When we sat down to come up with a tour that was worthy of a group of mates travelling half way around the world to enjoy together, there were famous French locations that just had to be included in this itienrary.
The first group ‘must do’ that came to the discussion table was Mt Ventoux in Provence. No cycling holiday in France is complete without ticking off a few of the legendary climbs of the French Alpes, so a few days based at Grenoble and St Jean de Sixt is a must.
But to start the tour off, we just had to include an excursion into the Pyrenees. The scenery is dramatic and the climbs are famous stomping grounds of Tour de France battles.
Day 1 – 3
Starting with a pick up from Lannemazan Train Station we head straight to St Lary Soulan (45min drive) to get unpacked and get the bikes/legs all ready to go. Throughout the next three days we will tick off some iconic Pyrenean climbs – Col de Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin, Hourquette d’Ancizan. It’s easy to be charmed with the simplicity of the Pyrenean lifestyle in these parts – roaming cattle and donkeys rule the roads over the Cols. The rich green pastures against the towering grey peaks provide a magnificent backdrop for riding our bikes here.
Non riders – you will have explored the lovely little town we call our Pyrenean home, taken the cable car up to sublime views down the valley and joined the riders for lunch on the slopes of the Col du Tourmalet. If walking is your thing – there are some stunning options in these parts.
Day 4 – 7
After the transfer from Pyrenees to Provence you will find yourself settling in to our accommodation on the lower slopes of Mt Ventoux and falling in love with all things Provence. We have some real treats in store in this little corner of the world – it’s not all about Ventoux. We’ll combine the famous local rides of Ventoux, Gorges de la Nesque and the Sault lavender fields with a few of our hidden gems along the way. It’s so tempting to ride from sunrise to sunset in this part of the world, but don’t worry we will give you some ‘pool time’ as well.
Non riders will get to enjoy one of the best local Provençal markets in Bedoin, explore the historic town of Vaison La Romaine and the local vineyard towns. You will get the option to see the riders conquer the top of Mt Ventoux and also have plenty of ‘pool time’ to relax.
Day 8 – 10
We will base ourselves in the hub city of Grenoble for three nights. With plenty of time to explore the city we will have some stunning rides to tick off in these parts. A day riding in the Vercors is an incredible day on the bike. The terrain keeps you guessing how many more surprises await around each corner (there are plenty). Just up the road is a famous climb you may have heard of – Alpe d’Huez. It is there to be ticked off the bucket list – just don’t look at the times the pro riders do up here, it’s an unwelcome reality check!!
Non riders, you will have plenty of time to explore Grenoble, pick your favourite cafe and restaurant and enjoy a bit of shopping. We encourage you to join us to watch the riders tick off the Alpe d’Huez climb – the views from up there are pretty incredible.
Day 11 – 13
We will enjoy a partial riding transfer to get to St Jean de Sixt, our final location for this tour. The Col du Glandon is on the way (kind of), so it’s a great opportunity to tick this one off – it is a beautiful climb. From St Jean de Sixt we will enjoy rides around Lake Annecy, over the local climbs of Col de la Croix Fry and Col de la Colombiere, Col des Aravis and as many more as we can squeeze out of the legs.
Non riders will enjoy a fantastic day in Annecy – shopping, sightseeing or just lakeside relaxing (or maybe even working your way through the 100+ ice cream flavours on offer). You will have the opportunity to head to Chamonix for a cable car ride up Mont Blanc (that is definitely a bucket list experience).
Our final drop off point will be the choice of Annecy Train Station or Geneva Airport.
What a Tour! Fourteen days of goodness that will provide lifetime memories of riding with mates in the most spectacular parts of Europe.
Flights, travel insurance (compulsory) and meals other than those listed are not included.
Kiwi Style rental bikes* are available at a cost of $750 per bike for this tour. Our rental bikes are full carbon Trek Emonda/Domane frames with Ultegra/105 compact gearing, or equivalent.
*Kiwi Style owned bikes are limited to availability. Alternative rental bikes can be sourced, but pricing may vary.